Wrestler of the Day – July 26: D-Von Dudley

This man could have a future as a furniture mover: D-Von.

I’m going to avoid the Dudley Boys as a team here as that’s been covered to death.

We’ll start things off with a singles match from the night ECW invaded the WWF. From February 24, 1997 Raw.

Tommy Dreamer vs. D-Von Dudley

We get Beaulah if nothing else. Dreamer looks YOUNG here and for some reason didn’t wrestle at the PPV. They lock up immediately as everyone is FAR more impressed with Beaulah than the match which I can’t blame them for. Heyman rightfully kisses up to Vince for this. Dreamer breaks out some weapons to make things interesting for a change. Lawler hating on violence is funny considering one of his most famous things is the Tupelo Concession Stand Brawl (look that up if you’ve never heard of it).

All Dreamer so far here. Naturally we plug the stuff later on in Raw but again ECW needs to be happy with what they got, which I’m sure they were. Lawler goes on a total shoot, talking about how he’s been in wrestling for 20 years and has never been ashamed to be a wrestler but is now because this stuff is in his ring. He also didn’t mind showing up on ECW shows at least twice and getting a big paycheck for it.

Dreamer with a Piledriver next to a chair as Lawler is reaching Austin levels of ranting here. Taker cuts a split screen promo and while he’s talking about Sid (it was the main event of Mania 13 so first of all it’s more important than the match, but second, THIS GETS A PROMO WHILE WE HAVE A MATCH?) Dreamer hits the DDT for the pin.

Rating: N/A. Just a quickie here as the highlight was Lawler’s insane rant against Heyman and ECW. Based on what I’ve heard most of that was legit as Lawler wasn’t a fan of ECW at all. There are few people more old school than Lawler so that doesn’t surprise me, but considering how many Memphis companies he’s been apart of he doesn’t have a ton of room to talk about anyone else’s failing. Granted he had a national TV spot every Monday night so maybe he can talk about them.

We’ll pick things up about three years later on Raw, February 14, 2000 with the winner’s team getting a Tag Team Title shot at No Way Out.

D-Von Dudley vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Edge

D-Von is quickly flapjacked down and double teamed in the corner, followed by Poetry In Motion with Edge playing Jeff for some reason. D-Von finally sends Edge to the floor to leave him alone with Jeff. A slam gets two on Hardy but Edge dropkicks D-Von into Jeff, knocking both guys down. The partners get in a fight on the floor as Jeff hits a Swanton for two on Dudley. Edge spears Hardy down but gets caught in a reverse inverted DDT for a pin. Too short to rate but it was fun while it lasted.

We’ll jump ahead to Survivor Series 2000 where D-Von is on a team with his brother and a few others.

Team Dudley Boys vs. Team Edge and Christian

Dudley Boys, Hardy Boys vs. Edge and Christian, Bull Buchanan, Goodfather

Buchanan and Goodfather are the RTC and they’re actually tag champions here instead of one of the other three teams. Bubba and Bull start things off but the crowd is kind of dead so far. Bubba elbows him down for two and it’s off to D-Von. A big boot puts D-Von down and it’s off to Goodfather for another boot to the head but no cover. Off to Christian who pounds away at D-Von but walks into a reverse inverted DDT. This match isn’t exactly taking off.

Matt comes in to clean house as everything breaks down. The Hardys take off their shirts to reveal camo shirts that match the Dudleys. In the melee, the Edge-O-Matic (actually called that here) pins Matt. D-Von vs. Edge now with the former hitting a swinging neckbreaker for no cover. D-Von takes down both Canadians with a double clothesline but a Buchanan distraction lets Christian hit the Killswitch for the elimination to make it 4-2.

Bubba comes in and throws Christian around a bit before it’s off to Jeff. The fans want tables but they get Jeff sent to the floor and a tag to Buchanan. Back to Bubba who runs over the Bull a few times and beats up Goodfather a bit too. The Canadians get backdropped a few times before Edge accidentally spears Buchanan down, giving Bubba an easy pin. Christian accidentally splashes Edge giving Bubba another easy pin. It’s Jeff/Bubba vs. Christian/Goodfather.

They botch something but Goodfather hooks a Death Valley Driver for the pin on Bubba. Jeff gets to start with Christian but knocks Goodfather off the apron first. Christian misses a charge and hits post. The Swanton eliminates Christian and about twenty seconds later Val Venis (also RTC) clotheslines Goodfather by mistake, giving Jeff the winning pin.

Rating: C-. Much like the rest of the show, this wasn’t bad but it was nothing interesting for the most part. The tag division would get going again soon with TLC 2 which was somehow even better than the first edition. Having Jeff win here is fine but without Matt at this point, the fans didn’t really care. Granted that could be said about the rest of the show too. Again, another acceptable match but nothing I’ll remember in an hour.

Another triple threat, this time from Raw on February 19, 2001.

Undertaker vs. D-Von vs. Christian

Uh….ok? Oh that’s right there’s the tag team triple threat on Sunday. The Dudleys have the belts coming into Sunday. Only Edge comes out with his partner and Lillian botches the intros, saying that Edge and Christian are champions here. D-Von hammers on Taker to start us off while Christian chills on the floor.

Edge goes into a rant about how awesome his family is rather than the others, such as how at family reunions they play hockey rather than putting people through tables. Also he got Christian a spaghetti strainer for Christmas and didn’t burn him to the point of needing a mask. Edge was hilarious at this point as you can tell.

Taker grabs an armbar on Christian until D-Von makes the save. Double suplex to Taker as this turns into a handicap match for a bit. D-Von gets a lifting sitout reverse DDT for two as Taker makes the save. The tall dude gets in Edge’s face and the Canadian is shoved down. Edge gets on the apron, allowing Christian to hit a low blow. That gets no one anywhere though as everything breaks down again and the Last Ride kills Christian dead to end this.

Rating: C. Just a mess but not bad really. That was the point of matches like these back in the day so this was fine. Taker somehow jumped over to face HHH and got out of this weak tag team thing he was stuck in. Just a fun match here for the most part that set up the tag title match on Sunday which is fine.

D-Von would get a Hardcore Title shot on Raw, November 26, 2001.

Hardcore Title: D-Von Dudley vs. Rob Van Dam

Van Dam is defending and D-Von is a tag champion. D-Von immediately hits him with a stop sign, which in real life would be grounds for near death but here it puts Van Dam down for about 6 seconds. D-Von goes to the floor where Van Dam moonsaults him for two. Back inside and D-Von hits a big powerbomb to take Van Dam down for no cover.

A HARD trashcan lid shot to the head puts Van Dam down but again Rob won’t sell very long and superkicks D-Von down. Rob goes up but get neckbreakered down onto a chair for a delayed two. Van Dam goes up but gets crotched again. Sell that? Nah. Instead he shoves D-Von off the ropes and hits the Five Star to retain.

Rating: C-. Van Dam’s non selling was really annoying but D-Von’s offense looked good. I always liked him better than Bubba but Bubba has about 10,000x more personality so Bubba got the probably better deserved push. Anyway, the match was fine given that it lasted about three and a half minutes and was a forgone conclusion.

The team would be split due to the Brand Split, meaning D-Von was sent to Smackdown. D-Von became a reverend for no apparent reason but he did have an impressive deacon who collected money. The deacon’s name: Batista. Here’s Batista’s debut at ringside on Smackdown, May 9, 2002.

Reverend D-Von vs. HHH

The Game hammers away to start but gets caught in a hot shot onto the buckle. There’s actually some psychology there as HHH has a bandaged forehead. HHH fights back with right hands but is sent to the floor for a beating from Batista. Back in and D-Von drops the big elbow as Batista keeps an eye on the building fund box. D-Von nails a top rope forearm to the head for two more but misses the swan dive. HHH bails to the floor for a minute and avoids a Batista charge, sending him into the post. The distraction lets Jericho come in and nail HHH in the head with the money box to give D-Von the big upset.

Rating: D. This is more noteworthy for the major upset and the debut of a future World Champion. The Reverend character was brand new at this point and a win over HHH showed that they might be going somewhere with it. The fact that it was D-Von kind of threw a wrench into those plans though.

Here he is on August 29, 2002 against a hotshot rookie. Oh and he’s now a reverend.

Reverend D-Von vs. John Cena

Cena nails a dropkick and something resembling a bulldog for a fast two count to start. D-Von avoids a second dropkick and stomps away before dropping an elbow for two. More hard shots to the face have Cena in trouble but he comes back with a kind of swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker. A series of forearms have D-Von in trouble but he comes back with a clothesline. D-Von misses a top rope headbutt and gets rolled up for two more. Cena hamers away in the corner, only to get caught in an atomic drop, setting up Saving Grace (reverse inverted DDT) for the pin.

Rating: D+. This didn’t work as the chemistry wasn’t there and Cena had only been around a few months at this point. Cena was very aggressive though, which fit the Ruthless Aggression era that they were shooting for. The Reverend gimmick was fun but clearly a dead end for D-Von.

Batista would split from D-Von soon after this, setting up a match between the two on Smackdown, September 5, 2002.

Reverend D-Von vs. Batista

D-Von hammers away as Batista hits the ring, shouting that he made Batista. That’s the extent of his offense at first as a big chokebomb sends D-Von out to the floor. A chair to Batista’s back….doesn’t draw a DQ for some reason. Back in and the elbow drop gets two on Batista but that’s about it for D-Von being in control. Batista shrugs everything off and plants D-Von with a Batista Bomb for a very fast pin.

The Dudleys would reunited in late 2002 so we’ll skip ahead a bit. Here’s an ECW reunion match from Smackdown on May 13, 2004.

D-Von Dudley vs. Rob Van Dam

Bubba offers an early cheap shot to give D-Von the early advantage but Rob comes back with the usual strikes. A spinning kick to the face drops D-Von and a leg lariat gets two. Bubba offers a second distraction though, allowing D-Von to pull Van Dam out of the corner with a neckbreaker to take over. D-Von chokes with a bandage and hammers away in the corner before we hit a neck crank.

Back up and a VERY hard clothesline gets two on Rob before it’s back to the chinlock. Rob fights up again and takes over with kicks (of course), including a nice one off the top for two. Bubba interferes AGAIN but this time gets kicked in the face and taken down with a flip dive off the apron. Rolling Thunder connects but Bubba puts D-Von’s foot on the ropes. Rob kicks D-Von in the face again but the referee gets poked in the eye. More interference lets D-Von DDT Van Dam out of the corner for the big upset.

Rating: D+. Actually not terrible here with D-Von looking crisp while he was on offense. Bubba’s interference went on too long though and it got annoying after the first two times. That being said, there’s no reasonable way to have D-Von get a win over someone the level of Van Dam.

We’ll wrap up WWE with this match from Smackdown on August 19, 2004.

D-Von Dudley vs. John Cena

This is a result of Cena having words with Spike in the back earlier tonight. US Champion Booker T., Cena’s current rival, is on commentary. D-Von hammers away in the corner but gets slammed down for two. A spinning back elbow nails Cena for two and a big elbow drop gets the same. Cena takes his head off with a clothesline as Booker compares Cena to Vanilla Ice. Not that it matters as John initiates the finishing sequence, takes out Bubba, and nails the FU for a fast pin.

We’ll jump ahead to TNA now but a few years into Team 3D’s run as there aren’t many singles matches to pick from at first. We’ll pick things up at Against All Odds 2009 in a glorified tag match for the World Title.

TNA World Title: Brother D-Von vs. Brother Ray vs. Sting vs. Kurt Angle

They do the long intros where we see them coming from the locker room and everyone gets a hype video. In other words, entrances take about ten minutes. The Dudleys come out together and are Japanese tag champions. JB does the big match intros in jeans, which doesn’t work at all. The Dudleys take over to start, working together because they’re you know, a team.

Angle rams them together though but the Mafia guys get clotheslined down. Bubba and D-Von face off and Bubba lays down for D-Von to pin him. It only gets two but that’s rather brilliant. Why not go with a submission though? Double flapjack takes Sting down. Now they actually slug it out with D-Von taking over. Ray gets a slam as this is more of an exhibition than a competitive match. Double clothesline leads to a stalemate.

Angle and Sting are back in now and everything goes out to the floor in a big brawl. Let’s make fun of Vince a bit because that’s what we need to do right? Bubba gets put in the ankle lock and D-Von is in the Scorpion. Angle gets kicked off and into Sting, causing some issues with the Mafia. Bubba tries a Figure Four on Sting and it’s a total failure.

Kurt’s eye is busted badly. Bubba gets the figure four (close enough I guess) and Angle is in a Boston Crab. In a NICE touch, Kurt crawls over onto Sting while still in the hold and gets two. That was really creative and psychology if I’ve ever seen it. The holds are broken and Kurt hits an enziguri to Bubba. The blood is off Kurt’s eye and it looks a lot better. The Mafia squares off and trade finisher attempts.

The Dudleys break up an ankle lock attempt and the fans are behind them. Angle Slam to Sting gets two. Ray gets a Rock Bottom (called that by West) gets two on his partner. Angle tries ten corner punches on D-Von but gets caught in a Doomsday Device for a long two. 3D is loaded up but Sting avoids it. Stinger Splash misses but Angle breaks up What’s Up. And never mind as Sting grabs a really quick Death Drop on Bubba to end it.

Rating: C-. At the end of the day, the Dudleys were in the main event of a PPV and it was for a world title. Why in the world am I supposed to think that they have a chance here? The match itself wasn’t anything special as it was really a glorified tornado tag match. No idea why they didn’t go with a tag with the title on the line but it’s TNA so I’m probably thinking too hard.

Team 3D would start feuding with Ink Inc., setting up this match at Victory Road 2010.

Brother Ray vs. Brother D-Von vs. Jesse Neal

Let’s get this over with. Ray comes out first and hides behind the set. He jumps Neal and there’s no D-Von. We cut to the back where D-Von is locked in his dressing room, presumably by Bubba. Clearly the cameraman has no arms because he doesn’t let him out which would involve moving a board. Oh look: more kind of false advertising as it’s the same match from last month.

Again we hear about how much Neal’s life has sucked. We get it already guys, let it go. No one cares about Neal and that’s all there is to it. This is nothing but basic stuff as we’re all just waiting for D-Von to come running out for the big save or beatdown or whatever. Ray of course uses the big boot because that’s all anyone uses for a big strike anymore. The ECW guys are here.

They distract Bubba a bit and Neal gets a spear for two. Shannon Moore comes down for a save which lets Ray hit Neal with a chair. D-Von finally comes out and there’s a staredown. They both look at Jesse and then slug it out. Neal accidently spears D-Von and a Bubba Bomb ends it. D-Von was in the ring for maybe a minute total.

Rating: F. This was false advertising if nothing else. This was a one on one match with two run-ins. What was the point to this? Just do 3D vs. Ink Inc like you want to do. No one cares about this feud and no one wants to see Bubba vs. D-Von, so of course that’s what we’re going to get.

Team 3D finally split up and started their feud, including this match at Genesis 2011.

Bully Ray vs. Brother D-Von

They can’t just call him D-Von? Ray pulls Val up to hide as D-Von comes at him on the ramp. Val slaps him and the fight is on. They slug it out on the floor to start with D-Von dominating. They brawl for three or four minutes and then we get a bell. Dang it they have even more time to waste here. Ray begs off from D-Von and can’t hit his low blow.

Thesz Press leads to punches by D-Von. Back to the floor again as they’re thankfully not trying to make this a match. They’re up in the stands now as somehow this isn’t a countout yet. A fan throws what looks like a shoe to D-Von. Ok then. Back to the ring and Bubba finally takes over. Ray is busted. He slaps D-Von in the corner and then runs when D-Von Dudleys Up.

Bubba misses an elbow as I try to think of what I’d trade to not have to watch this. Bubba Bomb doesn’t work and D-Von gets two. LOUD chops by Bubba in the corner set up a suplex off the middle rope for a long two. Ray picks up a chain from nowhere in particular. D-Von stops it and picks up the chain and whips Bubba for the DQ. Are you freaking kidding me?

Rating: D. It was boring, it wasn’t particularly good, and it’s Bubba vs. D-Von in 2011 on PPV in a grudge match. Do I need to explain to you why this was completely awful? I didn’t like this in the slightest and of course it means we’re going to have another match between them because they’re draws right?

D-Von would be in the 2011 Bound For Glory Series and had this match on August 4, 2011’s Impact.

Bound For Glory Series: AJ Styles vs. Devon

Basic stuff to start with AJ avoiding various offense using speed. Pope is with D-Von’s kids again. D-Von gets a back elbow for two and spots Pope. AJ grabs a rolling cross armbreaker but D-Von makes the floor. Styles Clash is blocked as in D-Von’s reverse inverted DDT. Pele gets two as Daniels is seated at ringside cheering AJ on. AJ goes to yell at him and misses a springboard, letting Devon rolling him up for a pin at 3:35. Yes that really happened.

Rating: C. Nothing here at all as it’s almost too short to grade. D-Von is nothing of note at all as he’s just D-Von. The Pope and Daniels things could be interesting eventually but at the moment it doesn’t look like anything is coming from them. I wasn’t impressed here but the stuff that they did was ok I guess. Not a fan of the same ending to two matches in a row though.

D-Von would team up with D’Angelo Dinero and get a Tag Team Title shot at No Surrender 2011.

Tag Titles: D-Von/D’Angelo Dinero vs. Mexican America

Remember when TNA had the best tag division by far? Man that seems like forever ago. Can we watch Sarita and Rosita dance instead of watching this match? D-Von vs. Anarquia starts us off. The fans chant for the USA. Off to Pope very quickly as they work on the arm. Ok back to D-Von as the challengers are tagging in very fast. SuperMex comes in and D-Von is all cool with that too.

A clothesline puts Hernandez down for a bit and it’s off to Pope, who according to the audience is pimping. If anyone knows what it means to be pimping, it’s a town famous for having a Mouse theme park in it. Anarquia comes in again and this is firmly in first or second gear. The challengers hit something resembling a Hart Attack but with a shoulder instead of a clothesline and D-Von playing the rope of Bret.

Pope kisses Rosita and then holds her by the air above the floor off the apron. FREAKING OW MAN!!! D-Von and Pope set for What’s Up but Sarita breaks it up. Despite looking nothing like him at all, D-Von lands the role of Ricky Morton. Anarquia hits a back elbow for two. Mexican America hits a pair of splashes and Rosita adds a dropkick. Hernandez takes forever to set up a charge and is taken down by a spear from D-Von.

A double tag brings in Anarquia and Pope with Pope cleaning most of the rooms in the house but not all of the house. Top rope cross body gets two on Anarquia and the champs take down Pope with Hernandez hitting a top rope headbutt but there’s no cover from either of them. Everything breaks down and a double shoulder block puts down Hernandez. The girls come in and get stereo spankings. D-Von takes down Hernandez and we go back to Wrestlemania V as Pope suplexes Anarquia back in but one of the chicks hooks his leg for the fall on top pin at 9:53.

Rating: D+. I wasn’t feeling this one but I could see how some people would. The girls got involved about five times and the ending was so cliched it’s almost unbearable. That’s what this show has been: one cliched ending after another. Also, D-Von and Pope are the best tag team they could get for this? At least the Brits are a regular team that gets along more than a week before the PPV. Not into this at all.

At Victory Road 2012, TV Champion Robbie E. issued an open challenge.

TV Title: Robbie E vs. ???

This is another open challenge because we don’t have time to get the TV Title on TV since Garrett Bischoff needs to get his five minutes every week. Robbie says that there’s no open challenge tonight because everyone is afraid of him. The fans want RVD. Oh apparently the invitational is going to happen tonight but now fans can take him up on it. They go around the ring and Robbie makes fun of fans, including three overweight women. He asks Val, but says they’ll be “wrestling” later. Big Rob says she’s not on the list. This goes on forever. The open challenge is officially canceled so they’re going to pose instead. We have a challenger.

TV Title: Robbie E vs. D-Von

Yes, this is what’s on PPV. He comes through the crowd for some reason. Robbie backs off so Brian Hebner says we’re doing this. D-Von is in street clothes. There’s another Tweet. One man flapjack puts Robbie down and a clothesline puts him on the floor. Matt Morgan is trending. Robbie tries to get a chair but BROOKE HOGAN stops him. I kid you not, she’s in the front row and grabbed the chair from him. Back in and D-Von runs him over with clotheslines and shoulder blocks. A splash in the corner sets up a clothesline for two. A spinebuster gives D-Von the title at 3:02. Just retire the title. Now.

Rating: F. D-Von Dudley is a singles champion. Never mind that it’s 2012. D-Von freaking Dudley is a singles champion. That doesn’t need any more explanation. Oh and Brooke Hogan was involved in this. They did fire Russo didn’t they? I mean….D-VON JUST WON A TITLE. With the roster they have, they pick him? Who thinks that’s a good idea?

Then D-Von would feud with Robbie E. Then Robbie T. Then BOTH OF THEM AT ONCE. From Sacrifice 2012.

TV Title: D-Von vs. Robbie E vs. Robbie T

Officially it’s a triple threat. D-Von punches T to the floor and then punches E down. A Rock Bottom gets two on E but T pulls the champion to the floor. E gets back up and tells T to stand down because he’s got this. Powerslam gets two for E. D-Von comes back and knocks E to the floor but T catches him with a shot to the back. Powerslam gets two as E makes the save. Extra and Terrestrial get in a shoving match, allowing D-Von to roll up T to retain at 5:40.

Rating: D+. This feud MUST be over now right? It’s been going on for like four months now and for the life of me I don’t get why it’s continued this long. Are there really no other people that can get in on the TV Title hunt? Nothing to see here but hopefully it ends this feud once and for all.

D-Von would defend his title on Impact, July 5, 2012.

TV Title: D-Von vs. Crimson

Crimson grabs a pair of quick two counts and make it three, the third try having his feet on the ropes. That gets him nowhere so he hammers D-Von into the corner. A low clothesline gets two and D-Von starts his comeback. Crimson takes his head off with a clothesline for another two which was really sloppy. Crimson walks into the spinebuster for the pin at 2:02. As usual, D-Von comes, he goes, the match ends and we move on to the next week.

D-Von would leave the company due to his contract expiring, still as TV Champion. He would return to the company and join the Aces and 8’s, setting up a match at Turning Point 2012.

D-Von vs. Kurt Angle

D-Von is here alone. We stall for a good while before the bell as D-Von won’t get in the ring to fight Angle, which is probably a good idea. After wasting about two minutes, D-Von gets in and uses his wide array of punches to take over. D-Von hits his shoulder block to put Kurt down but Angle suplexes D-Von in return. The momentum doesn’t really build though as Kurt misses a charge into the post and we head to the floor.

That goes nowhere so we head back in for the D-Von spinning back elbow for two. Off to a chinlock as this is exactly what you would expect so far: D-Von is using really basic stuff because that’s about all he’s good at on his own. When he’s facing Kurt Angle, that’s hard to buy as an effective offense. Taz goes into a way too long explanation of how D-Von and Doc wear the same belt but we can’t see it because D-Von’s shirt is out.

Anyway, Angle hits a missile dropkick and a flying forearm to put D-Von down followed by a belly to belly for two. The Angle Slam is escaped and D-Von clotheslines Angle down. D-Von goes up for the swan dive but Kurt runs up the ropes and hits a belly to belly superplex off the top for two. The ankle lock goes on but D-Von kicks him away and hits a Rock Bottom for two. They botch a powerbomb counter and Kurt rolls some Germans for two.

Angle goes to the corner for what would have been a moonsault that Rey Mysterio in his prime would have had issues hitting. D-Von powerbombs him out of the corner to prevent Kurt from having to try it but it only gets two. D-Von is limping around badly because of the ankle lock so at least the selling is good. The swan dive misses but the Angle Slam only gets two. Seriously? D-Von gets to kick out of the Slam? Aces and 8’s surround the ring and D-Von spears Angle down for two. Not that it matters as the ankle lock gets the submission out of nowhere.

Rating: D+. It’s D-Von vs. Kurt Angle. Seriously that should up everything you should need to know about this match. There is no way on earth you can validate D-Von as a realistic threat to Kurt Angle. D-Von does not have the skills to hang in a nearly fifteen minute match with Kurt Angle and that’s all there is to it. That makes the match very dull and shows the need for a main event level guy in Aces and 8’s.

D-Von had his chance to get the TV Title back on December 6, 2012’s Impact.

TV Title: Samoa Joe vs. D-Von

Joe is defending and takes over to start by running over D-Von. A knee drop keeps D-Von down for a bit but D-Von low bridges Joe to take him to the floor. A pair of splashes get two for D-Von but the middle rope headbutt misses. Joe comes back with a kick to the chest and a backsplash for two. A Rock Bottom out of the corner puts D-Von down again and there’s the Koquina Clutch. Some blonde chick gets on the apron, allowing Doc to hit Joe win the back with the hammer to give D-Von the title back at 3:55.

Rating: D. Nothing to see here at all but it was pretty clear that D-Von was getting the belt back here. At the end of the day, Aces and 8’s has to have SOMETHING right? They now have a title, albeit the lower midcard belt. This still does nothing to make me care about them at all, but there was no other option here.

Aces and 8’s targeted Joseph Park, setting up this match at Genesis 2013.

D-Von vs. Joseph Park

Non-title here. The fans are all behind Joseph of course…and then they split into dueling chants because the Impact Zone is annoying. D-Von yells at Park for messing up basic stuff and then goes behind Joe to mess with his hair. In something I never thought I would say, D-Von uses chain wrestling to take over and takes Park down to embarrass him. D-Von gets down in an amateur position but Park does some of the same chain stuff that D-Von did earlier and slaps D-Von in the back of the head. Funny stuff.

After D-Von rants on the floor for a bit, he charges into a hip toss, an armdrag and a one armed slam. D-Von knocks him to the floor in retaliation and rams Park into the steps. Back in and the buckle gets ripped off as Park is in trouble. Park blocks a shot into the buckle and pounds away, only to walk into a jumping back elbow. A clothesline puts D-Von down and Park hooks a double leg takedown and pounds away before going to the corner. Oh this isn’t going to end well.

Joseph goes to the second rope and hits a splash for two but D-Von sends him into the exposed buckle. It busts Park open and it’s Abyss time. A Black Hole Slam out of nowhere puts D-Von down and he loads up a chokeslam before snapping back into reality. D-Von grabs a rollup with a handful of tights for the pin at 11:40.

Rating: C+. The character is still funny, but they’ve been doing this same thing for months now and while the wrestling training is a step in the right direction, they need to something substantial with him before the charm wears off. It’s clear they’re building to a huge Abyss return, but I’m not sure when it’s actually going to happen. Fun stuff here though.

D-Von was entered into the competition at Joker’s Wild.

D-Von/Doc vs. Alex Silva/Hernandez

Well that’s quite a coincidence. D-Von and Silva start things off and after about two minutes of circling each other we get some actual contact. Silva gets pounded down in the corner and D-Von is toying with him. A one footed dropkick staggers D-Von and it’s off to Hernandez to give him a real challenge. Off to Doc for the power vs. power match with both guys getting to show off their strength.

A delayed vertical suplex puts Doc down and it’s off to Silva who is promptly destroyed. D-Von crotches him against the post and it’s off to a chinlock by Doc. Off to D-Von again for a knee drop and a two count as Silva continues to be beaten down. Doc comes in with a legdrop for two and some elbows to the chest. A big splash gets another two as Silva’s destruction continues. D-Von puts on a front facelock but Silva escapes for the tag off to Hernandez. SuperMex cleans house but Alex tags himself back in like an idiot. A missile dropkick gets two on Doc but he gets caught in a chokeslam for the pin to advance.

Rating: D+. So a team that regularly works together is better than a thrown together team with a rookie for a member. It took ten minutes to get that point across? There’s nothing special to see here and if I have to hear about Taz’s sidecar one more time I’m going to lose my mind. The commentary on this show is absolutely horrible and it’s driving me insane.

More Aces and 8’s, this time against Sting on March 7, 2013’s Impact.

Sting vs. D-Von

This is match #1 in a three match series with the winner getting the advantage in Lethal Lockdown. Sting jumps D-Von to start but gets clotheslined down for two. D-Von hooks a neck crank and pounds away in the corner for a bit. The top rope headbutt misses though and the fight heads to the floor. Some fan throws something in Sting’s face which looks to be red paint of some kind, allowing D-Von to hit a big boot back in the ring for the pin at 3:18.

Rating: D. I’m still trying to get over the D’Lo thing. This was another worthless match that doesn’t prove anything because the team is led by D’Lo freaking Brown. What in the world is the point of this team anymore? It’s like the bottom of the barrel of wrestling getting together to form a stable, but we’re supposed to take them seriously.

Here’s a big blowoff match between TNA and Aces and 8’s (one of many) with the person taking the fall being fired.

Aces and 8’s vs. Main Event Mafia

Aces and 8’s: Wes Brisco, Garrett Bischoff, Knux, D-Von, Mr. Anderson
Main Event Mafia: Sting, Samoa Joe, Rampage Jackson, Magnus

The loser of the fall is gone from TNA forever and the Mafia comes in down a man due to Angle going to rehab. Before the bell Anderson calls out Ray to sit on the stage and watch. Anderson goes on to say that the Mafia can pick someone to lay down without a fight. Sting says no way because they want to fight. There go the lights for some reason and here’s AJ Styles. He throws the hood back and the music changes to Get Ready To Fly, meaning the Phenomenal One is back and part of the Mafia tonight.

It’s a huge brawl to start until we finally get down to Magnus vs. Wes to start. Magnus throws him into the corner and brings in Joe to pound Brisco down. Joe hits the enziguri in the corner for two before it’s off to Garrett. AJ comes in for the fireman’s carry flip into a backbreaker as we take a break. Back with Magnus in trouble in the Aces corner. The bikers take turns on the Brit with everyone getting in shots.

Garrett gets two off a clothesline as the fans chant YES. Anderson comes in for a suplex before it’s back to D-Von for a neck crank. The fans tell him he sucks and Taz rants about Hogan a bit. The back elbow puts Magnus down again and D-Von Spinaroonis up. Back to Knux for some choking but Magnus scores with a quick DDT for a breather. There’s the hot tag to Sting and everything breaks down. Jackson starts cleaning house but Knux gets in a cheap shot.

Sting takes Knux down with the Death Drop and puts on the Deathlock but D-Von makes the save. Knux can only get two though and things settle down again. AJ gets the hot tag and hits the springboard forearm to D-Von. A backfist and a standing enziguri get two for Styles but everything breaks down again. Styles loads up the Clash on D-Von but has to hit the Pele on Anderson. D-Von spears Styles down but AJ comes right back with the Clash to get rid of D-Von at 16:16.

Rating: C+. The match was ok because it actually got some time. The fans were pleased for AJ’s return to form which has been needed for a long time. Getting rid of D-Von is fine as he doesn’t really do anything other than say TESTIFY. Hopefully it leads to the end of the Aces as they’re so far past their expiration date it’s unreal.

D-Von would return to TNA as a member of the Hall of Fame and help Bully Ray in a hardcore war on Impact, August 7, 2014.

Ethan Carter III/Rhino/Rycklon Stephens/Gene Snitsky vs. Team 3D/Tommy Dreamer/???

This is a hardcore war but entrances are staggered every 90 seconds and the win can’t take place until the last man enters. It’s Carter vs. Dreamer to get things going and both have weapons. They quickly head outside with Dreamer’s knees being sent into the steps. Back in and Dreamer hits a quick suplex with a Singapore cane before driving in a bunch of right hands in the corner. Rhino comes in to make it 2-1 and nails Dreamer with the trashcan lid. A bad looking spinebuster sets up some cane shots but D-Von ties things up with a trashcan. D-Von takes over with a few shots of his own and we take a break.

Back with Snitsky giving the Carters an advantage (and looking to weigh about 400lbs) until Bully Ray runs out to even things up again and clean house. Ray looks up at Dixie and Mo as the ECW guys keep dominating. Stephens comes in to complete Team Dixie and clean house with a chair. The heels destroy everyone until the big mystery partner is Al Snow.

The fans want Head (and have a bunch of mannequin heads of course) as Al beats up everyone again. Ray nails a top rope cross body (didn’t look bad either) to take out the mercenaries. Spud tries to make a save but gets What’s Up from Head. Snow moonsaults onto every heel not named Rhino as this just keeps going. Not that it matters as 3D ends Rhino at 17:37.

Rating: D+. This was just WarGames minus the cage and a lot of the talent. There wasn’t much to see here and Al Snow was about as uninteresting of a partner as there could have been. Also, I didn’t need a second hardcore match in an hour but this show is an ECW tribute show anymore so you have to have it.

D-Von is a guy that has had some success on his own but was much better in the tag team scene. He’s got a good look and was the member of the Dudleys I liked best until Bubba became Bully. I didn’t care for him as TV Champion, but I was always a Dudleys fan. An often bored fan, but a fan nonetheless.

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